Seattle Mariner trades over the years have seen some big names moved, including fan favorites and Hall of Famers. I’ll be taking a deeper look at some of the best trades in Mariners history.
Honorable Mention: 2B Bret Boone and RHP Erik Hanson to the Reds for C Dan Wilson and RHP Bobby Ayala
The Mariners were able to acquire their best catcher in franchise history in Dan Wilson. He played in 12 seasons for Seattle, hitting .262 with 1071 hits, 88 home runs, and 508 RBIs. He was part of the Mariners four playoff runs from 1995-2001. In 2012, he was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame.
Bobby Ayala had a decent five year career with Seattle. He pitched in 292 games and logged 56 saves with 374 strikeouts. Bret Boone ended up returning to Seattle after spending seven seasons with three different teams. This one was tough to keep out of my top five but it deserved to get some credit from GM Woody Woodward.
5. LHP Randy Johnson to the Astros for RHP Freddy Garcia, SS Carlos Guillen, and LHP John Halama
The Big Units departure from Seattle was a difficult one but well worth the haul. After pitching for 10 years with the Mariners, Randy Johnson was shipped to the Astros in return for a group of young players that turned out to be pretty darn good.
Freddy Garcia pitched for six years in Seattle while getting selected to two All-Star games and posting a 3.89 ERA. Carlos Guillen got his first chance of playing in the big leagues with the Mariners. He recorded a .264 batting average with 439 hits and an .335 on-base percentage over six seasons with the ball club. John Halama had a 41-31 record with 4.46 ERA and 312 strikeouts in his four years with Seattle.
4. 2B Robinson Cano and RHP Edwin Diaz to the Mets for OF Jay Bruce, RHP Anthony Swarzak, RHP Gerson Bautista, OF Jarred Kelenic, and RHP Justin Dunn
Despite the recency of this trade, I think this was Jerry Dipoto’s best one thus far. In hindsight, the Mariners gave up an eight-time All-Star and a young exciting flamethrower but the value in this trade is substantial for the M’s.
Jarred Kelenic looks to be a core player in the Mariners future moving forward. In his first season in the minor leagues with Seattle he has slashed a .294 batting average with 123 hits, 20 home runs, and 61 RBIs. Kelenic also has a .536 slugging percentage.
Justin Dunn has the potential to be a very good pitcher either as a starter or closing out ball games. In Double-A Arkansas this year, Dunn has posted a 3.55 ERA with 153 strikeouts in 126.2 innings pitched. He looks to be getting called up to the big leagues in September. Gerson Bautista has already made a few relief appearances for the Mariners and he is only 24 years old. He tops out at 100 mph on his fastball but he needs to work on his command.
On the other side of the trade, Edwin Diaz had one great season in Seattle. This year in New York he has posted a 5.55 ERA in 48.2 innings pitched. Diaz has even tied his season-high for blown saves with 5 already. The M’s let go of Robinson Cano and the rest of his $120 million contract. Cano turns 37 in October so I see this trade as a big win for the Mariners.
3. OF Darren Bragg to the Red Sox for LHP Jamie Moyer
Longevity is key for this trade to make my list. Jaime Moyer was acquired at the age of 33. He went on to pitch 11 seasons for Seattle. He had a whopping 145-87 record with a 3.97 ERA. In 2003 Moyer won the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, Roberto Clemente Award and the Hutch Award. He was inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame in 2015.
Darren Bragg was a solid outfielder for the Sox; in a little over two years he put up a .264 batting average with 20 home runs and 136 RBIs. I think the Mariners did pretty well in this trade.
2. DH Ken Phelps and RHP Troy Evers to the Yankees for OF Jay Buhner and RHP Rick Balabon
The Mariners got a young prospect in Jay Buhner in hopes of uncovering a gem. I think his 14 years and 300+ home runs proved that this trade was a steal for the M’s. Buhner went on to hit 307 home runs and 951 RBIs. Buhner had 40+ homers and 105+ RBIs in three straight seasons (1995-1997). He also played a big role in the Mariners four playoff runs.
Ken Phelps was an established hitter for the M’s before being traded. His time in New York was cut short after two seasons with the Yankees. This trade was close to topping my list. I really like Buhner, but number one on my list turned out to be one of the most lopsided trades I’ve ever seen.
1. LHP Mark Langston and RHP Mike Campbell to the Expos for LHP Randy Johnson, RHP Gene Harris and RHP Brian Holman
Now we are down to the biggest trade of them all. The Big Unit coming to Seattle. Initially, it was a risky trade because Randy Johnson was an unproven pitching prospect but that leap of faith turned into the best trade in Mariners history. Seattle had to give up a solid starting pitcher in Mark Langston who only played a few months with Montreal.
Johnson pitched 11 seasons in Seattle. In that time, he posted a 130-74 record with a 3.42 ERA and 2162 strikeouts. Johnson won a Cy Young Award and was selected to five All-Star games while in Seattle. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015. There is no doubt that this trade was the best one in Mariners history.